Champions League

Vipers – to defend the title would be huge

photo: EHF kolektiff
Vipers – to defend the title would be huge

Interesting facts about the team:

  • Vipers Kristiansand won the CL title last season and they are in the final4 for the third time
  • The team has changed since last season, last year’s MVP from Final4, Henny Ella Reistad left for Team Esbjerg
  • Many new players joined the team, most of them are foreigners, bringing in new cultures and mentalities to the team
  • Nerea Pena, Zsuzsanna Tomori, Ana Debelic, Marketa Jerabkova, Isabelle Gullden were the biggest names on the joined list, but during the season, after Hanna Ytterengs’s injury Lisa Tchaptchet has also arrived from Spain on the line player position
  • Ole Gustav Gjekstad made a fantastic job to integrate all these players into the team and making a team-cohesion that works at this point of the season
  • Injuries made also trouble: Nerea Pena is still out with a knee injury, Hanna Yterreng and Silje Waade just made their comeback some weeks earlier, Vilde Jonassen had an injury too, but she is recovered by now.
  • Heidi Löke gave birth to her third child and she did not play this season, Tonje Refsnes is also pregnant
  • Vipers is the only team who managed to defeat Győr in the CL this season
  • Vipers became Norwegian champions once again defeating Storhamar in two games in the last weeks, and they win the Norwegian Cup too during May
  • Vipers eliminated Krim Mercator in the quarter-finals with two clear victories
  • Vipers’ right back Nora Mørk needs 14 goals in the last two games of the season to tie Romanian left back Cristina Neagu in the top scorer standings, after putting 96 goals past the opposing goalkeepers prior to the EHF FINAL4
  • Katrine Lunde is the oldest player in this Final4 with her 41 years
  • Vipers have the highest amount of accumulated Champions League titles in their squad

Key players: Katrine Lunde, Nora Mørk, Jana Knedlikova, Ana Debelic, Zsuzsanna Tomori, Bella Gullden

photo: Madalina Donose

Jana Knedlikova, right-wing, she won already four CL-titles, three with Gyor and one with Vipers

On her previous EHF FINAL4 experience:

“I think it is always good if you have experience from these types of matches and situations. I do not say that I can be as excited as before my first FINAL4 but my motivation still works inside and I cannot wait to be on the court in front of the fans. The Champions League FINAL4 is always one of the best weekends of our seasons.”

On the upcoming challenge against Metz:

“We know Metz and we expect a great battle against them but in the FINAL4 there are no easy games. We need to play our best handball in order to be successful but our players are ready to step up in these important games and I think we are able to solve everything on the court. It will be important to be fully focused on our game.”

On her expectations for the weekend:

“We are here to win two matches and lift the trophy but the other three teams are also here for the same reason. We have to perform better than them and we should not take anything for granted. We need to focus until the final whistle and be prepared for everything.”

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Champions League

Hungarian living in Norway with a great passion for handball, primarly women handball. Travels all over the world to follow handball matches and tournaments and to write good articles on this website.

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